Despair and Catalysis

It has been said that my writing is humorous and honest; however, sometimes honesty isn’t funny.

I’ve really gotten sucked down in it deep the last few days and please, don’t tell me that with hard work and enough time, it will get better. Shoot, I know that.

But here’s the thing: despair has found me anyway.

I try not to let it get to me, really I do. But I worked so hard. So very hard to get to where I was at the end of October. I had lost 30 pounds, finished a triathlon and decided to train for a half marathon (something I never, ever in a million years thought I would do). And then in less than than blink of an eye, it was all gone.

This isn’t the first time my feet have betrayed me. I used to be a dancer. Until, after years of foot problems, the details of which I will spare you, I just couldn’t be anymore. And if I am being honest (and what is the point of all this writing, if not to be honest), my deepest, darkest secret is that what I really want is to get fit enough to put on a leotard and not look like some 30-something fool trying to relive her glory days, but instead just look like a dancer. I don’t want much. My days of dreaming of being in the Nutcracker with Baryshnikov are over. And I’m ok with that. But to be able to dance, just a little bit, would be the whole world.

I guess I just really hoped that with trying some new form of physical activity, my feet would cooperate and maybe I could sneak around the back side and be dancing before my feet knew what hit them.

But my feet are tricksy, and must have known something was up.

So here I sit: the weight piling back on, one seriously atrophied calf and the rest not looking so hot either, and my mojo slowly leaking out through the corners of my eyes.

I kind of just want to lie down.

But –

I’ve been hearing a lot of comments on Facebook, Twitter and even (gasp!) in person from people who say that my year of turning my life around has influenced and even inspired them to make a change of their own. Given that I have been a lump for my entire adult life, this is amazing to me – especially so right now when I literally cannot think past “Ow! Ow! Ow!” and remember that I am an athlete.

Recently I read a message from a friend who had started running that day, even though she had a terrible knee injury a couple years ago and doing so is incredibly hard. Later that same day, I read another from a friend who started triathlon training and had his first swimming day. I can’t lie to you – both times I cried. Not heaving, sobbing, uncontrollable tears, but tears all the same.

I cried because I was proud of them. I cried because I was jealous. I cried because I was amazed that I had managed to be an influence. I, who am overweight and eat too much junk food, am somehow a positive influence on the health of others.

I am seeing it begin to spread. Their friends are starting to get up and move and talk about it publicly. When it spreads to their friends, I probably won’t know, but I trust that it will all the same.

So let me have my days of despair. The days when I tire of feeling helpless and useless and want nothing more than to curl up in a ball and Be Left Alone.

Because those that I have touched are now touching me, and it will all come back around in the end.


About leftfootchronicles

In 2010, I went from 0 to Triathlon in 8 months and completely changed my life in the process. In October, on the very day I decided I would train for a half-marathon, I tripped and suffered an injury to my left foot that, in the words of my doctor, ends athletes' careers. I am not prepared to give up so quickly.
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One Response to Despair and Catalysis

  1. WFNYCraig says:

    Days of despair are important. I was humming along with my goals this summer and I started having back spasms. Certainly that is a minor speed bump compared to what you went through, but I had all those doubts creep in.

    “Is this it? Is this how it starts? Is this when my momentum is stopped and I stop reaching new levels in losing weight?”

    I became a bear at home as my patient wife helped me through the frustration of not being able to work out. She helped me stay motivated to not fall off the dieting path while my muscles got less angry.

    That despair is what made me feel so damn fortunate when I was able to start running again to be able to do more mileage.

    So take in the despair. You will use it as motivation in a few days! Then again, I am only telling you what you already know. 🙂

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